A model of Irish architect Damien Murtagh's 2009 Longacres House in Portrane, Ireland, created using his Arckit modeling components.

A model of Irish architect Damien Murtagh's 2009 Longacres House in Portrane, Ireland, created using his Arckit modeling components.

Credit: Arckit

Architectural models may help clients understand massing and orientation, but their production can be time- and labor-intensive. Arckit, a modeling kit conceived by Irish architect Damien Murtagh, combines modular construction and common building components on a 4-foot modular grid at 1:48 scale to help translate digital models into physical ones. The resulting kit of tiny parts—including columns, floor and wall panels, joints, railings, stairs, and trusses—adds to the list of designer-friendly tools (like Lego's version) for both building out their projects and daydreaming on the job.

Arckit is available in three versions whose part-counts are based on the total built floor area possible for the full-scale project: 60, 120, or 240 square meters. The pieces can be rendered as SketchUp components in Trimble’s 3D Warehouse. While white-colored panels that are broken only by clear plastic windows help achieve monolithic massing, users also can download two-dimensional surface cladding and finishes from Arckit’s digital library, print them on supplied self-adhering sheets, and affix them to the panels to add details such as wood flooring, terracotta, stone, and aluminum shingles. Snap-in-place construction allows the parts to be swapped in and out, altering the form and finishes of single- and multistory buildings in tandem with a client’s evolving requirements.

A panelized replication of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater residence.

A panelized replication of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater residence.

Credit: Arckit

Finishes printed from Arckit's online library are applied to the modular components' surface.

Finishes printed from Arckit's online library are applied to the modular components' surface.

Credit: Arckit